Just when you thought “Project Almanac” was the worst time-travel movie of 2015, here comes “Hot Tub Time Machine 2.” Having inherited none of its predecessor’s wit or charm, this limp sequel is almost astonishing in how unfunny and unpleasant it is.
Not appearing in this movie was a wise career move for John Cusack, star of the first film. This is fatal for the movie, however, because none of the returning characters can make up for his absence.
Characters Nick and Jacob, played by Craig Robinson and Clark Duke respectively, simply don’t contribute anything interesting to the movie. Lou, played by Rob Corddry, does everything he can to ruin the film. No matter what direction the story moves in, Lou is abrasive, mean-spirited and impossible to like. His near-constant presence, in turn, makes it difficult to find any redeeming qualities in the movie.
Focusing so much on such a reprehensible character might be justifiable if they made the movie funny, but even that is apparently too much to ask. This sequel has no real reason to exist, trading genuine humor for over-the-top crudeness. The film has the potential to present an interesting story but descends quickly into a chasm of cheap, poorly conceived gags from which it never escapes.
If you wanted to see the characters go back to the Revolutionary War, which the previews hint at being an important part of the movie, you’ll leave the theater disappointed. The concept of Lou, Nick and Jacob going to parts of the timestream, other than 2025, is only explored during the end credits. The commercials lied.
“Hot Tub Time Machine 2” is an embarrassing wreck. A lack of effort and care plagues the movie from start to finish, resulting in a humorless malformation of the original film’s ideas.